Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Plateau Hockey

I am a Canadian from Edmonton living on the Tibetan Plateau in Western China teaching Tibetans, Inner Mongolians, Han zu, Man zu, and Tu zu Chinese students about the great sport of Hockey.  The easiest/cheapest/most practical way to do this is to play street hockey.

More details here, here, and here.

Here is the latest update

From Last week:

It was a good time this last Tuesday down in the parking lot at Min Da University.  It was a good time and it was also quite different from other times.  Here are the highlights:

-  Last week, one of my dog leash goalie pad straps broke, so this week I decided not to bring them.  No goalie means we can go "full court" with 5 on 5 teams without goalies.  I also wanted to do this to emphasize the importance of team defence.  I wanted to teach them how to keep the ball out of the goal, positioning, and how to clear it out of harm's way.

So, when I showed up and saw about 25 guys there waiting to play, I was glad that we were going to have more room for everyone.  We ran around a lot more, which was nice, and it worked out pretty well.  There are definitely a few guys picking it up quicker than others.  We might be heading towards some sort of mini-tournament one of these days.

- Last week I told the coach that I was going home for my brother's wedding.  He told the guys that they needed to think of good things to give me to take home to my family as gifts from Qing Hai.  The two ideas they came up with were yak jerky and Qing Hai yogurt.

So, this week the coach gave me these:

Yak Jerky

Now, before you get too excited about things I must tell you that I don't even want to start to tell you how not like beef jerky this stuff tastes.  I'll bring some of it back and you can see for yourself, if you dare.

-  I should also mention that the coach was a little under the influence this weekend.  How he does it is beyond me; he must have a good, filling lunch break.  At one point he did some Tibetan dancing with one of the players, at another point he grabbed a stick, rode it like a horse, and displayed his limited Mongolian horse riding dancing skills.  It was fun, though I will also keep a close eye on the situation.

From this week:

We had our first casualties:


The blue one snapped in a Tibetan guy's hands while he slashed at the ball.  It was one of the older sticks.  It will be missed.

I stepped on the red one while it was in the hands of another player.  I won the puck battle and got a good shot on goal, so it was kind of worth it, in a way.

Down to 8 sticks.  I have a couple more lengths of wood in the apartment, which I can cut into more sticks, but clearly I'll be looking for some real sticks sooner than later.

If you are reading this and you have a keen idea on how to get us some real street hockey equipment out here, then please e-mail me at

Regardless, we will keep on keepin' on...

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